Meet The Willow Tree Boutique
Entrepreneur Kim Kidd opened The Willow Tree Boutique as a physical storefront in 1992. Style savvy and customer friendly, the boutique found brick-and-mortar success carrying high-end women’s products from brands like Spanx, Free People, and Kendra Scott. Today, the company has grown to include Kim’s daughter Ashley as Chief Operations Manager. Her daughter Morgan represents the brand as a model and Kim’s husband Kevin conducts day-to-day business duties.
After 26 years, The Willow Tree team realized the need to streamline their existing processes and adapt to modern shopper behavior. Their goals: expand the existing customer base with multichannel online retailand make the leap to live selling.
Branching Out: Transitioning to E-Commerce
as a Brick-and-Mortar Business
Kim Kidd and her family have dedicated 30 years to providing “head-to-toe styling” to women of all ages. The Willow Tree’s hard-working staff strives to create a personal shopping experience for every customer that crosses their threshold via styling tips, fashion guidance, and friendly interaction.
Social media, however, has changed the face of shopping. Potential customers are now researching, comparing and purchasing online more than ever before. As a result, businesses that transition to selling through online channels are expanding brand awareness and their profit margins. Kim and her crew realized The Willow Tree’s online reach needed a significant upgrade. Their biggest challenges included:
- Exploring another avenue of growth and transitioning from their physical storefront to an online strategy that caters to consumer preference.
- Finding a way to provide the personalized shopping experience and styling tips offered in the physical store to an audience of digital consumers.
- Streamlining an ineffective system in which employees worked “harder, not smarter” to ship orders.
Building A Strategy for Online Selling
There is a lot to consider when your business shifts from brick and mortar to click and order. Who is your target market? What are your customers’ shopping behaviors? How will you control inventory? And most important: which social media channels are the best for attracting shoppers to your brand? For The Willow Tree, CommentSold answered these questions and more with strategic and swift solutions.
When it came to making the transition online, CommentSold was the obvious choice for creating an overarching plan that supported The Willow Tree’s long-term vision.
Going with an E-Commerce Platform that Does It All
CommentSold is an end-to-end e-commerce platform built to help entrepreneurs get their visions off the ground from start to finish. CommentSold’s targeted retail solutions take a significant burden off of business owners by offering automatic invoicing, shipping and fulfillment solutions, marketing automation, analytics, and much more.
The Willow Tree partnered with CommentSold to launch a new webstore and mobile app that support live selling. This strategy created a valuable new way to attract and interact with today’s demanding digital consumers. In addition, CommentSold provided solutions to improve the company’s back-end operations with a streamlined inventory management system. Here’s how working with CommentSold made a difference:
- Multichannel Live Selling: CommentSold’s multichannel live selling strategy rapidly expanded The Willow Tree’s online presence. Daily live sale viewership quickly jumped from 50 to 1,000.
- Personal Connection with Shoppers: By hosting live sales, the brand’s “Live Stylists” showcase products, offer styling advice, and answer shopper questions in real time. Online customers experience the same one-on-one experience found in the physical store locations.
- Maximize Warehouse Efficiency: CommentsSold’s team visited the retailer’s warehouse and set up a location bin system, allowing them to ship thousands of packages a week and lightening the team’s workload.
Engaging More Shoppers with Live Selling
Live stream selling has changed the retail playing field. This groundbreaking marketing technique creates a new way for brands to increase reach, engage new shoppers virtually, and skyrocket sales. Today, more and more businesses are integrating Iive selling into their e-commerce platforms. The popularity of live video paired with instant gratification of live shopping has created valuable opportunities for retailers to:
- Add a new revenue stream
- Create a unique, gamified shopping experience
- Build a community of loyal followers online
- Bring their products to life on screen
- Increase their reach and engage new shoppers outside of their geographic locations
CommentSold provides The Willow Tree with all the tools needed to stream stunning, professional live video sales on Facebook Pages and Groups, Instagram, a customized webstore, and a branded mobile app. As for results, the numbers don’t lie: The Willow Tree’s annual sales have increased 600% since they began using CommentSold’s live selling technology and multichannel strategy in 2020.
Overall, the company’s new multichannel online presence developed in partnership with CommentSold has greatly improved their bottom line:
- 1M+ online sales per month
- 10,500 orders shipped per month
- 35,000 mobile app downloads
- 1.2 million ‘likes’ on TikTok
Creating a Real-Time Shopping Experience
Live selling with CommentSold builds rapport with potential customers in person. Holding a scheduled live selling event promises engaging shopper interaction across all time zones. For The Willow Tree, live stream selling showcases their apparel and accessories and demonstrates how everything looks and fits on real bodies. Viewers comment, ask questions, and gain all the value of an in-store shopping experience. Purchase decisions are made on the spot with confidence. And that’s what keeps their fans coming back for more.
Ashley Elliot, Chief Operations Officer, The Willow Tree
“CommentSold has gone above and beyond. Our website is beautiful—our shoppers love it. Having an actual person put an outfit on and tell you how it fits them…it cuts down on our return rate because they can try it on without trying it on.”